The election is over and once again, voters have chosen to keep the State of Washington under the grip of the tax & spend Progressive Democrats, apparently not the least bit concerned over their own financial situation of falsely believing someone else will just walk outside and harvest money off of their money tree to fund whatever dream those tax & spend Progressives come up with, unable to live within their means.
Two areas that have been contentious are transportation and education, neither ever having adequate funding for whatever is dreamt up or claimed needed by proponents.
Just today I received an email from the Washington State Transportation Commission for a survey addressing “Tolling and Road Usage Charge Assessment Study,” to weigh the public’s opinion on just where more tax revenue should be raised.
While primarily addressing transportation projects up in the Puget Sound area, we in Southwest Washington know that our own contentious, corrupt Columbia River Crossing is pending and in search of more of our dwindling tax dollars with its own price tag of $3.5 Billion expected to be closer to $10 Billion with interest payments and cost overruns.
As seen in the screen shot above from the survey, we continue to see little to no effort whatsoever to curtail spending on these massive transportation boondoggles, just questions on where may they dig deeper into our pockets to fund such ‘pie in the sky’ expansions like light rail.
Although we have one of the highest gasoline taxes in the country, it meets only 76% of the state’s transportation needs, according to WSDOT as we see more and more efforts made to lower the use of gasoline and force more people into public transportation.
Should you purchase a vehicle that uses much less gas to operate, the state desire to charge you an extra fee to make up for your effort to save money and pollution, upwards of $200 a year on top of your regular yearly fees to own a private vehicle.
Should you own a home, the state desires to punish you by tacking on more property tax to fund the projects they want to build, on top of taxes currently levied on you for schools, parks or whatever local governments have added over the years.
Forgotten or ignored is that we remain in a deep recession that has seen home ownership decrease, home values decrease, wages decrease, long-term unemployment increase and costs for goods and food increasing as well.
If this wasn’t troubling enough, we also now read, State road money may be used to fund school buses.
Since the State Supreme Court ruled education to be a “paramount duty” of the state legislature in the so-called McCleary case, we also see efforts to raise more revenue to fund schools, meet teacher’s salaries and benefit packages and whatever else the Teachers Union says is a must do.
There too we see little or no effort for the union to “share in the sacrifice” and decrease their demands.
We read of the Joint Task Force promoting the proposal,
“Ideas floated by three of the panel’s four Democrats rely on the transportation budget to pick up some, most or all the tab for school bus services, which are estimated to be $900 million in the next budget.”
Yes, as we see the State Transportation budget falling far short of what is wanted, 3 Democrats come up with the insane idea of just adding another $900 Million, or more onto the Transportation Budget in what looks more like a shell game effort to make it appear the education is being funded instead of actually addressing the base problem, expenses are out of line with revenues being collected.
Are they unable to fathom that regardless of what shell they hid the bean under, struggling taxpayers are still stuck with the bill and we do not have endless supplies of money trees to harvest?
Whatever happened to parents dropping their kids off at school? Or children walking and riding bicycles to school?
When I was growing up in Southeast Florida back in the 1950’s, we walked to school since we lived within the state’s 2 mile limit for being picked up by a school bus. Occasionally, our Dad would drop us off on his way to work and we walked home after school, even if was raining.
It did us no harm and actually helped keep us fit, since we also see worries over childhood obesity being floated today.
Previous efforts to move paying for school buses over to the transportation budget received a cool reception, largely seen as moving money away from the many generous transportation projects the state also wants to fund.
Democrat House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan, a member of the Joint Task Force says, “The only way (the shift) would happen is it would have to be part of a broader transportation package,” meaning to me to raise our taxes somewhere to “broaden” their revenue receipts.
Republican member of the Task Force Representative Gary Alexander says of the proposal,
“It is interesting,” adding, “This concept tends to have more support than others. It depends on what the impact will be on other parts of the transportation budget to know if this is a good idea or not.”
What about the impact on struggling taxpayers?
Is there a reason that is not considered?
Elections have consequences and everywhere I look, those consequences remain to be our legislature picking our pockets, putting more and more of us under dependency on government as they confiscate our paychecks to be able to give a little back to us as they see fit.
The recent announcement of a power-sharing coalition in the State Senate between Republicans and Moderate Democrats is welcome news that I hope will return some sanity to Olympia.
Hopefully they can start with efforts to bring down costs of these ‘pie in the sky’ projects and outright canceling many that are not really a necessity.
Hopefully too, efforts will be made to curtail the power of the WEA and other Public Unions sucking taxpayers dry while our children do not receive the education they deserve.
A frequent commercial seen on television features people yelling, “It’s my money and I need it now.”
Isn’t it about time that Olympia learned our paychecks are our money and we need them now to feed and care for our own families?